Environmental effects on fractional exhaled nitric oxide in allergic children.

Health and Environment Unit, Regional Agency for Environment Protection/ARPA, Sicilia, Corso Calatafimi 217, 90129 Palermo, Italy.
Journal of Allergy 01/2012; 2012:916926. DOI: 10.1155/2012/916926
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) is a non-invasive marker of airway inflammation in asthma and respiratory allergy. Environmental factors, especially indoor and outdoor air quality, may play an important role in triggering acute exacerbations of respiratory symptoms. The authors have reviewed the literature reporting effects of outdoor and indoor pollutants on FeNO in children. Although the findings are not consistent, urban and industrial pollution-mainly particles (PM(2.5) and PM(10)), nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)), and sulfur dioxide (SO(2))-as well as formaldehyde and electric baseboard heating have been shown to increase FeNO, whilst ozone (O(3)) tends to decrease it. Among children exposed to Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) with a genetic polymorphisms in nitric oxide synthase genes (NOS), a higher nicotine exposure was associated with lower FeNO levels. Finally, although more studies are needed in order to better investigate the effect of gene and environment interactions which may affect the interpretation of FeNO values in the management of children with asthma, clinicians are recommended to consider environmental exposures when taking medical histories for asthma and respiratory allergy. Further research is also needed to assess the effects of remedial interventions aimed at reducing/abating environmental exposures in asthmatic/allergic patients.

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    ABSTRACT: Most previous studies which have investigated the short-term effects of air pollution on airway inflammation, assessed by an increase of exhaled nitric oxide (eNO), have been conducted among asthmatic children. Few studies have considered this potential association among non-asthmatics. Furthermore, although both short- and long-term effects of air pollution on eNO had been reported separately, studies which include both are scarce. We explored associations between 24 h NO2 and PM10 (particles with aerodynamic diameters below 10 μm) mass with eNO in 1985 children (192 asthmatics and 1793 non-asthmatics) aged 10 years and accounted for the long-term effects of air pollution by adjusting for annual averages of NO2, PM10 mass, PM2.5 mass (particles with aerodynamic diameters below 2.5 μm) and PM2.5 absorbance, using data from two German birth cohorts in Munich and Wesel. In total, robust associations between 24 h NO2 and eNO were observed in both single-pollutant (percentage change: 18.30%, 95% confidence interval: 11.63–25.37) and two-pollutant models (14.62%, 6.71–23.11). The association between 24 h PM10 mass and eNO was only significant in the single-pollutant model (9.59%, 4.80–14.61). The same significant associations were also observed in non-asthmatic children, while they did not reach significant levels in asthmatic children. Associations between annual averages of ambient air pollution (NO2, PM10 mass, PM2.5 mass and PM2.5 absorbance) and eNO were consistently null. In conclusion, significantly positive associations were observed between short-term ambient air pollution and eNO. No long-term effects of air pollution on eNO were found in this study.
    International journal of hygiene and environmental health 01/2013; · 2.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Asthma is considered an heterogeneous disease, requiring multiple biomarkers for diagnosis and management. Fractional exhaled nitric oxide in exhaled breath (FeNO) was the first useful non-invasive marker of airway inflammation in asthma and still is the most widely used. The non-invasive nature and the relatively easy use of FeNO technique make it an interesting tool to monitor airway inflammation and rationalize corticosteroid therapy in asthmatic patients, together with the traditional clinical tools (history, physical examination and lung function tests), even if some controversies have been published regarding the use of FeNO to support the management of asthma in children. The problem of multiple confounding factors and overlap between healthy and asthmatic populations preclude the routine application of FeNO reference values in clinical practice and suggest that it would be better to consider an individual "best", taking into account the context in which the measurement is obtained and the clinical history of the patient. Besides, there is still disagreement about the role of FeNO as a marker of asthma control, due to the complexity of balance among the different items involved in its determination and the lack of homogeneity in the population groups studied in the few studies conducted so far. Heterogeneity of problematic severe asthma greatly limits utility of FeNO alone as a biomarker of inflammation to optimize the disease management on an individual basis. None of the studies conducted so far demonstrated that the use of FeNO was better than current asthma guidelines in controlling asthma exacerbations. In summary, there is a large variation in FeNO levels between individuals, which may reflect the natural heterogeneity in baseline epithelial nitric oxide synthase activity and/or the contribution of other noneosinophilic factors to epithelial nitric oxide synthase activity. FeNO is a promising biomarker, but at present some limits are highlighted. We would recommend that further research can be carried out by organizing studies aimed to obtain reliable reference values of FeNO and in order to better interpret FeNO measurements in clinical settings, taking also into account the influence of genetic and environmental factors.
    Multidisciplinary respiratory medicine 07/2013; 8(1):50. · 0.05 Impact Factor

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